Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Garden Dedications, Memorials
and Special Areas

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Front gate of Eloise Butler

In past years families and groups have chosen to create within the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, a memorial for a loved one or a dedication for another significant person. Memorials are no longer allowed but certain dedications are. We illustrate here the memorials in the Garden and a few of the dedications.

We start with the dedication to Eloise Butler herself.


At the end of the path from the front gate of the garden to the Martha Crone Shelter will be found a large granite boulder bearing a dedication to Eloise Butler. The boulder was placed the year following her death and originally sat in front of a Pin Oak tree that was planted in her memory. Today the tablet is shaded by a large Leatherwood Shrub. The text of the dedication tablet reads as follows:

In loving memory of Eloise Butler (1851-1933), teacher of botany in Minneapolis Schools, Founder and first curator of this native plant reserve. This oak has been planted and this tablet erected by a grateful public.

To this sequestered glen Miss Butler brought beautiful native plants from all sections of our state and tended them with patient care. This priceless garden is our heritage from her and its continued preservation a living testimony of our appreciation. Here her ashes are scattered and here her protective spirit lingers.

Dedicated Arbor Day 1934

(Click on the photo for a larger image)
(Additional detail on the creation of the tablet and the dedication)

Odell Family Memorials and Dedications in the Garden.

Clinton Odell was the founder of Friends of the Wild Flower Garden. In the newspaper photo below from June 14, 1959 are: left - Mrs. Carroll Binder (Dorothy) was one of the founders of the Friends and at the time, was president; -center- Martha Crone was also a founder of the Friends and at the time was secretary/treasurer and editor of The Fringed Gentian™. She had just retired from the position of Garden Curator; -right- Mrs. Clinton Odell (Amy).

odell bench
Bench of Mankato Dolomite dedicated to Clinton Odell, the founder of the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden. 1959. Situated on top of the central oak hill in the Upland Garden. The bench was purchased by Martha Crone with funds contributed by friends of Mr. Odell. Below: The dedication tablet. (photo-Harriet Betzold, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden.)
Martha Crone and Amy Odell
At the dedication of the memorial bench to Clinton Odell, 1959 Photo: As published in the Minneapolis Tribune.

Contributors to the Odell Bench were: Elizabeth Carpenter, John T. Magaw, Ebba Tolg, Dorothy Binder, Wm. H. Hale, Mr. & Mrs. R. Leuthold, Mrs. C. S. Hoyt, George Luxton, Earle Brown, Mr. R. E. Cole, Mr. S. W. Dwinnell, Martha Crone.

Odell Upland Bench Plaque Odell Bird Bath Dedication

Above: The dedication tablet on the Odell bench in the Upland Garden. 2nd photo: The dedication tablet for the bird bath in memory of Amy H. Odell who passed away on December 7, 1966.

Below: A pair of Kasota Limestone benches dedicated to Clinton Odell, located just off the patio area in front of the Martha Crone Visitor's Shelter in the Woodland Garden near the location of the former Garden Office (dedication tablet - small photo). These were presented by his daughter, Moana Odell Beim; installed in 1960. They replaced a pair of wooden "settees" that at the time, were very close to the site of the old "office."

Odell Bench Dedication

The bird bath of Kasota limestone, is dedicated to Amy H. Odell, spouse of Clinton Odell; it was presented by family and friends in 1968, and is located between the two benches. In early 2018 a tree fell on the bird bath and cracked the basin. The cement shop foreman of the Park Board formed a new limestone top to match the original (larger photo below). (photos G D Bebeau).

Patio Benches for  Clinton Odell Odell  Bird Bath new bird bath basin

Some Other Benches in the Garden

baker bench
Baker Bench
baker plaque
Bench dedication to Margie Baker, situated on the oak hill in the Upland Garden. Following new Park & Recreation rules against specific memorials, the bench was adopted by her husband, in her memory, in 1995. (photos courtesy of Harriet Betzold)

Funding for the memorial came to The Friends via a $5,000 gift from the Baker Family that was administered by People for Parks. The history of the Baker bench is explained in this letter to The Friends from Zachary Baker:

I am a native of Minneapolis, and last lived there about 30 years ago. I visit the Wild Flower Garden whenever I get back to town – some of my earliest childhood memories are connected with outings there. For my mother, the late Marjorie Baker, the Garden was a very special place, and after she passed away (1973) my father arranged to have plaques in her memory placed by two benches – one in the forest garden, the other in the prairie garden. My father, Mike Baker, died a little over a year ago, and I have been to the Garden several times during visits connected with estate matters. I feel that the very least I can to is to join the Friends as a sponsor. That way, the Baker family will maintain its connection to the Garden for the present and future. Zachary Baker.

anderson bench
Anderson Bench
anderson plaque
Bench dedication to Harry Anderson and Mina E. Haynie, (by their family in 1987) situated in the Woodland Garden. Harry was a federal wildlife biologist. Both were frequent Garden visitors. (photos courtesy of Harriet Betzold)

koss bench
Ross Bench
koss plaque
Bench dedication to Florence K. Ross, situated on the far hill at the back of the Upland Garden. (photos courtesy of Harriet Betzold)

Grimes Bench
Grimes/Dalquist benches
Two benches on the path from the front gate down to the Crone Shelter are memorials from 1983 and were funded by The Friends from gifts received in honor of Dr. Marion Grimes and in memory of Harold E. Dalquist. Their names are the first two on the Eliason Honor Board in the Crone Shelter. The benches were installed without labor cost by Mr. Hamele of the Hamele Co., supplier of the benches. No memorial plaque was ever installed on the benches. The wood was replaced in 2000.

Schaar Bench
This bench which sets just outside the Front Gate to the Garden is in memory of Dr. Frances Schaar who was a member of The Friends in the 1970s. She was a pediatrician in private practice and a nursing instructor at North Hennepin Community College, at Normandale Community College and prior to that an instructor in Texas, Chicago and the University of Minnesota. She passed away on October 27, 1990. The Bike rack was provided by The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden - and is not affiliated with the Bench dedication.
Schaar photo
Dr. Frances E. Schaar is seen standing at the back of this photo taken in 1981.

Shelter Fireplace

The initial plans for the Martha Crone Shelter called for a Franklin Stove as a fireplace was thought to be too expensive for the Friends' budget. That is when Friends members Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Dean stepped in and provided the funds to construct a fireplace, the exterior of which is cut stone from Wisconsin.

The large copper hood was also by the Deans - all as a memorial in memory of their daughter Kathleen Dean Hillman, who died at age 25. Contributing to the memorial were Kathleen's Girl Scout friends. A plaque about the dedication is mounted on the wall to the right of the hood. A photo of her friends who visited the shelter years later is posted in the Summer section of our 2007 history.

Dedicated Fountains in the Garden

nordquist fountain
Nordquist Fountain
nordquist plaque
Fountain dedicated to Dr. Daniel T. Nordquist, situated at the top of the oak hill in the Upland Garden. He was a member of the Friends and a researcher at the University of Minnesota and died at age 34 on December 11, 1993. The fountain was completed in 1995 with memorial funds received by the Friends from the Nordquist Family. This is the newest of the three fountains in the Garden. Daniel’s brother Tim built a microscope for the Shelter use. Daniel’s mother Joan Nordquist had already authorized funds for a wood bookcase for the Shelter.(photos courtesy of Harriet Betzold)

Burgess  fountain
Burgess Fountain
Burgess Fountain Plaque
Fountain located just inside the front gate of the Garden, installed in 1986 in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Henry Burgess who were frequent visitors to the Garden. Funds for the fountain were donated in 1985 by their sons, William H. Burgess and Gerald Burgess Jr. Mrs. Burgess (Louise) died October 10, 1973 in San Diego California where she had lived since 1965. She was a Friends member until her death. (photos G. D. Bebeau).

Louise had organized and counseled family-life groups in Minneapolis more than forty years and wrote a column entitled "Let's Be Better" for the Edina Courier from 1950 to 1960. She was also an author, her first book being This side of the stars, which was mentioned in The Fringed Gentian™ Vol. 6 No. 3., in July 1958. Louise had gifted the cost in 1970 of the original book of memorials that was displayed in the Martha Crone Shelter after it was dedicated. This book had a fancy custom made cover with pages that were hole-punched for insertion after they were engraved. The book was made by Mr. Otto Japs of Japs-Olson Printing and he engraved the pages, which were divided into two sections of the book. One section for the donors to the building of the Crone Shelter and one section for other memorials. The book was stolen from the shelter in later years. [From Friends minutes and secretaries notes of 1969 and 1970]

Her husband, Gerald H. Burgess, had passed away suddenly on April 29 1938. He was the owner of the Panama Carbon Company in Minneapolis and was the donor of a number of plants in the early 1930's when Martha Crone was curator. He and Gertrude Cram visited Martha Crone in the Garden on July 13, 1933 and in the summer of 1934 he provided some Azure Bluets, (Houstonia caerulea); Yellow Corydalis (yellow fumewort), (Corydalis flavula); Walking Fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum); Hay-Scented Fern; (Dicksonia punctilobula; Marginal Wood Fern (Dryopteris marginalis) and Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides). Some of these species were new to the Garden. In 1939 Martha received a donation of 100 Hay-scented ferns (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) in his memory.

Witt Fountain
Witt Fountain
Witt Fountain Plaque
Fountain located on the patio area in front of the Martha Crone Visitor's Shelter in the Woodland Garden, given by the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden in memory of Bernice H. Witt and installed in 1971. She and her husband, Alvin, were Friends members and Alvin and chairman of the building fund for the new Martha Crone Visitors Shelter. He died in 1973. (photos G. D. Bebeau). Alvin Witt had an extensive history with the Friends and in the Twin Cities grocery trade. Alvin Witt details

Other Memorials

Tusler Memorial
The lintel over the door to the Martha Crone Visitor's Shelter is engraved in memory of Margaret Tusler who passed away on April 1, 1969. It was installed at the time of construction of the shelter. Her husband, Wilbur H. Tusler, was chairman of the building committee for the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden. The committee planned the shelter and saw to it's construction in 1969-70 (photo G. D. Bebeau).
Memorial Board
Eliason Memorial Board: A gift of Marian Eliason in 1981 in honor of her mother, Lydia W. Eliason and presented to The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden. It is engraved with a dedication to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Names of people for whom the Friends have received significant gifts or memorials. For details see Memorial Donations.


GRIMES BIRDBATH: The Friends received a $1,000 bequest from the estate of Dr. Marian Grimes who had been the coordinator of volunteers for the Martha Crone Shelter from 1971 through 1980. After reviewing projects for the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden that were feasible with the amount, the Friends Board voted on October 21, 1989 to procure a stone bird bath for the Upland Prairie Garden. This would be a counterpoint to the 1917 bird bath in the lower Woodland Garden.

Board member Geri Benavides was going to put the plan together. The story of finding the stone and having it carved is related in this article.

The 81 x 42 inch Walnut table in the Martha Crone Shelter was a gift of Ms. Elizabeth Schutt in memory of her mother, Mrs. Clara M. Schutt, who was a good friend of Eloise Butler and from whose property, Eloise Butler acquired plant specimens for the Garden.

Table in Shelter

Special Areas Within the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Ken Avery Birding Terrace

Kenneth Avery fulfilled the role of Garden Curator for the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, succeeding Martha Crone. In 2004 The Friends and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board came up with the design and the Friends provided funds for the creation of the Ken Avery Birding Terrace in remembrance of Ken and the dedication he gave to the Garden. It is situated on a small plateau on the back path that goes from the Woodland Garden up to the Upland Garden. Installation was in the spring of 2005. There are three wood benches made by Earl F. Anderson Inc.; a basalt column carved bird bath from Hedberg Aggregates and a dedication plaque on the birdbath made by Awards by Hammond, Inc. The surrounding area was planted 350 new shrubs and herbaceous plants. Total cost was $5,504. (Photos G D Bebeau)

Avery Birdimg Terrace Ken Avery Birding Terrace Avery bird bath

Below: The Avery Birding Terrace in late April before new plant growth. An early April birding group, led by naturalist Tammy Mercer (with staff in hand), at the Ken Avery Birding Terrace, 2006 (Photo Phoebe Waugh).

Ken Avery Birding Terrace - Springtime Birding in the Avery Terrace

Cary George Wetland Bridge

Cary George was the 4th person entrusted with the daily care of the Wildflower Garden. He succeeded Ken Avery who retired at the end of 1986. Cary was gardener through the end of 2003. In 2011 the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden began fundraising for a new bridge to replace the old cedar bridge over the water channel leading to the Garden pool. This project enlarged to encompass a boardwalk through that section of the wetland. The boardwalk was installed in July of 2015 and the bridge section was dedicated in honor of Cary George on September 20, 2015. (photos G D Bebeau)

Details on the Boardwalk Project.

Boardwalk Bridge Boardwalk Bridge dedication plaque Boardwalk Bridge alternate view

Other special areas.

moana beim trees
Moana Odell Beim Adopted Tree Area. In 2007 group of trees in the Hemlock grove near the back gate of the Garden was adopted by the family of Moana Odell Beim. She was the daughter of Clinton Odell, founder of the Friends. She served for many years as a member of The Friends and was president 1975-1976.
lisa locken tree
Lisa Locken Adopted Oak. In 2007 a large oak tree on the path down to the Martha Crone Visitors Shelter was adopted in memory of Lisa Locken by a group of her friends. She served for many years as a member of the Friends and as editor of The Fringed Gentian™, our newsletter.

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